TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For Parents

Posted Feb. 21, 2014, 1:03 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Thoughts on the "Empty Nest"

A bird is termed "nidifiguous" if its offspring leave the nest shortly after hatching. While human teenagers are by no means so quick to depart, you wouldn't guess so from watching! With birds, it's so graceful; the mother gives the chick a firm push and out it flies into the world, a free bird. With us, it's not so pretty. After eighteen years (or sometimes even longer), we are driven to a college campus for the last great family road trip between recounted memories, sappy songs on the radio, and nostalgia. We unpack, sometimes with fanfare, sometimes without, and there ...

Posted Feb. 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Snow Day Activities

Snow: you either hate it or love it. In New England, it’s hard to hate the snow. Hating snow in New England is like working at a coffee shop and hating coffee; or voluntarily going to the mall when you hate shopping. Snow is simply equated with winter here—something you have to get used to and something you’ll never escape (unless you move out west or down south. In that case, be sure to avoid Atlanta). This winter has been particularly snowy, with countless hits from polar vortexes and arctic blasts. The snow has almost become an inside joke here ...

Posted Feb. 19, 2014, 3:46 p.m. by Amy Cody | View Comments
Parents and Teens Talking About Sex

Teenagers and their parents should always communicate with one another about sexuality. Sexuality isn’t just about sex - it is also about healthy relationships, body image, reproduction, gender, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. There are so many opportunities to talk! Parents and Teens and Sex A recent survey conducted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America revealed that while parents feel comfortable talking to their teens about topics related to sex, teens aren’t so comfortable with the conversation. At Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM), we want to help parents AND teens! We know that ...

Posted Feb. 15, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Start Saving Coupons NOW for Dorm Room Essentials

Even if your children are in middle school, it is not too early to start saving those “Bed Bath & Beyond” (BB&B) coupons for when it’s time to outfit their college dorm room. Despite believing your children will never be old enough to go off to college, your kids will fly the coop sooner than you can imagine. Dorm Room Essentials It is amazing how many items on the college dorm room checklist you can find in one store – whether you shop at BB&B or Target or your favorite local department store. Freshman need bedding (XL twin sheets, blankets, ...

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Short-Term Strategies for Financial Aid Success

With FAFSA season fast approaching, you no longer have the luxury of long-term financial planning for college unless you happen to stumble upon a 1985 Delorean fully- loaded with a flux capacitor (in which case you should pull a Biff, bet on future sports events, and not even worry about financial aid). Space-time continuum transcending scenarios aside, here are some essential strategies for maximizing your federal aid. 1. Don’t assume that you are too wealthy to be eligible for aid Common sense would tell you that a family living in a 20,000-square-foot McMansion, driving matching his/her Maseratis, and spending Sunday ...

Posted Feb. 10, 2014, 4:41 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
The Reality of Teen Athletes

My son attended an all boys’ elementary/middle school. I’ll never forget a parent meeting one evening at which fathers and mothers were all exercised about the school’s sports teams’ official rules of participation. I don’t remember the exact details, but I do remember emotions escalating in the room until the school psychologist stood up and proclaimed, “In the 100 year history of our school, not one graduate has gone on to be a professional athlete.” The psychologist was providing perspective, which is often lost these days when it comes to student athletes. A miniscule percentage of high school athletes will ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 3:22 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Mother-Daughter Bonding: Time Well Spent

As girls advance through the teen years their relationships with friends typically eclipse relationships with parents. Although many mothers realize separation is part of a normal developmental stage that they went through themselves, it’s not always easy for moms to readjust to “the new normal.” In an article in Psychology Today, The Challenge of Mothering an Adolescent Daughter, Dr. Carl Pickhardt explains the reasons for the change: Over the course of adolescence, issues of ‘attachment versus separation' and issues of ‘similarity versus differentiation' are contested by the young person to establish independence and individuality. So for independence, the adolescent wants ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 11:57 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Allowance and Chores: How to Up the Ante

I admit it: getting my three sons to do household chores is, well, too much of a chore for me. Like most parents, my mind is going in a million different directions as I move through another harried day. At any given moment, I'm trying to answer the following questions, usually simultaneously: "Who am I carpooling with for tonight's basketball practice? What time is Leo's winter cello concert? Did I pay the mortgage yet? How am I going to finish my writing assignment and get dinner started? Will I make it home before the dog pees on the oriental rug ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 11:04 a.m. by Sarah Buttenwieser | View Comments
Parents and Teens: The Social Media Gap

I have two teens. As a parent, I’m focused on raising healthy, independent young adults (and I hope that we still like each other throughout the process)! Social media is a flashpoint that reveals my parenting insecurities; my kids’ technological abilities are fundamentally different than mine. Our journey requires some dialogue, some struggle, some trust, some wonder, and a good deal of my letting go. Nearly half of all teenagers in the United States check their social media several times per day. Facebook trumps Twitter for teens, with 68 percent reporting Facebook as their main social networking site compared to ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Handling College Rejections: A Role Reversal

My daughter applied Early Decision (ED) to her dream college. She was flat out rejected. I was incensed that the school turned her away. She had the grades. She had the scores. She had substantial extracurricular activities. And she is a really nice kid. But that didn’t matter. Yes, I know that college admission is a numbers game, and that there are far too many qualified candidates vying for every precious spot at top colleges and universities. I knew that only 19 percent of the applicants to my daughter’s ED college were admitted the year prior. But when those statistics ...

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